THE director of the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM), Hugh Morris (above, right), and the assistant director, Paul Hedley, arrived at their office in Sarum College, in Salisbury, after a 96-mile tandem ride from a former home of the RSCM, Addington Palace, Croydon, to raise funds for the charity.
Their route — 96 miles for the 96 years of the RSCM — took them 48 hours starting on Saturday 10 June, and gave them the opportunity to join a Come and Sing event at St John the Baptist, West Byfleet, on Saturday afternoon, and Sunday services at St Thomas-in-the-Bourne, Farnham, and Winchester Cathedral.
Unlike Mr Hedley, Mr Morris is not an experienced cyclist. “It seemed a good idea when someone in the office suggested it. But it is 96 miles; sitting at a desk by day is not great preparation — and it’s more hilly than you would have thought.” All went to plan, although he said that the ride had been “very hot”.
The money raised is to help to fund the RSCM’s work to support congregations by providing resources and training. The hope is that the funds will allow more churches to start choirs and to reinvigorate ones that shrank during Covid.
The RSCM had experienced “many ups and downs” since its foundation, Mr Morris said. “The past few years have created a significant obstacle to the journey ahead as Covid, followed by economic crisis, has severely reduced our income and reserves. We urgently need support to keep our finances to keep pace with our pedalling, and to allow the RSCM to enable the flourishing of church music into our second century.”